Show Navigation
Show Menu

Draft Strategy

How You Can Take Down $100K On Underdog Fantasy

By Kevin English 6:45pm EST 12/25/22


Imagine waking up with an extra $100,000 in your bank account. Say… in February.

(No, this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Well, OK, sorta…)

I’m talking about The Gauntlet — a best ball contest on Underdog Fantasy with a $1 million prize pool. 1st-place takes down $100K.

So this isn’t your garden-variety fantasy competition. Oh no. Beyond the hefty prize, there’s a unique twist that requires extra strategizing.

Here it is:

Join a draft today and pick players for the postseason only. Yep. You’re drafting now, not knowing playoff seeding, game locations, or the 14 qualifying teams.

Intriguing, right?

I’ll share more details on the contest below, then dish on strategy for the 6-person snake drafts. (For full rules and info, visit Underdog’s site.)

— 45,216 total entrants

— 150 entries (max) per person

— $25 entry fee

Draft 10 rounds for a starting lineup that includes:

1 QB

1 RB

2 WR/TE

1 FLEX


Gauntlet Strategy

If you’re going to beat out 40,000 teams, you’ll need to draft smarter than the competition.

To deliver on that, you must grasp playoff seeding. While we don’t have a complete picture now, we can make some assumptions. (Hat-tip to FiveThirtyEight, whose numbers are helpful.)

1. The Eagles, at 13-1, have a 97% chance at earning a 1st-round bye.

2. In the AFC, Buffalo leads the pack at 49% — 10 percentage points ahead of Kansas City.

The Vikings, Cowboys, 49ers, Chiefs, Eagles and Bills are locked into playoff spots. Only the Rams, Broncos, Bears, Cardinals and Texans have been mathematically eliminated.

Of course, you’ll want players that you expect to make a deep postseason run. Stacking both Super Bowl teams would be ideal…

But, that doesn’t mean you should stack your squads with Eagles, Chiefs and Bills.

This contest includes 4 separate rounds. You need to win each of the first 3 rounds — 2 in 6-person leagues, with the 3rd an 8-teamer — in order to advance to a 157-person Super Bowl final. If you’re too light on live players in the Wild Card round, well… you’re likely dead money.


Now, let’s talk rosters. Optimizing roster construction will give you the best chance of turning a profit — especially with only 10 players per team.

QB: This comes down to risk tolerance. You might be able to get away with drafting only 1 QB if it’s Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrow. But what if Buffalo loses the top seed (to Kansas City) down the stretch? Even the Bengals remain in the mix for a 1st-round bye. (They're at 12%, per FiveThirtyEight.) If I’m drafting, say, 10 teams, I might roll with 1 QB on 1 of them.

RB: Aim for 3 here. We’re looking to pile up WRs, given their edge in ultimate ceiling.

WR/TE: You’re only considering a few TEs, so 1 certainly isn’t necessary. Load up with as many as 6 WR/TEs, staying mindful on Round 1 byes.


Finally, let’s consider some teams on thin ice. These are subject to change of course, but with 3 weeks remaining, here’s who I’d shy away from:

Washington Commanders

Currently a 7 seed, the Commanders are favorites in only 1 of their final 3 games (-1.5 vs. Cleveland, Week 17). Taylor Heinicke has hit a rough patch of late, as he now sits 24th in passing DVOA; 26th in QBR.

This team would have a fighting chance against a Vikings squad that showed its vulnerabilities last week. Or a 49ers squad with an untested Brock Purdy. But I’ll still say no thanks to guys like Brian Robinson and Terry McLaurin.

Tennessee Titans

You’re only giving consideration to Derrick Henry here. But if Ryan Tannehill is out for the season — as a reputable source recently suggested — it’s tough to see a postseason run unfolding.

Plus, if Tennessee and Baltimore remain the 4-5 seeds, these teams will face each other in the opening round. The Ravens project as favorites, assuming Lamar Jackson is back from his PCL injury. Baltimore also represents a negative matchup for enemy RBs.


Related Fantasy Football

Podcast: Underdog Battle Royale Draft Tips for NFL Divisional Round

Podcast: Underdog Battle Royale Draft Tips for NFL Divisional Round

3:28pm EST 1/20/23

Draft a QB early? Fade Saquon Barkley? Chase or avoid stacks? It's a different kinda DFS week, but we're drafting Battle Royales and trying to help you crack the code ...

Read More »
Podcast: Divisional Round DFS Top Plays

Podcast: Divisional Round DFS Top Plays

2:45pm EST 1/20/23

Are you playing cash games or large-field tournaments on DraftKings and/or FanDuel this week? We're running through our top plays, fades and values -- with help from the Draft Sharks projections and Lineup Generator.

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentDivisional Round FanDuel Picks

Divisional Round FanDuel Picks

1:54pm EST 1/20/23

Targets at each position for the FanDuel Divisional Round slate.

Read More »
Top Plays for Divisional Round Underdog Pick Ems

Top Plays for Divisional Round Underdog Pick Ems

11:18pm EST 1/19/23

Can Week 2 of the NFL playoffs possibly deliver as much offense? Our fantasy football projections don't seem to think so ...

Read More »
Top Plays for Wild Card Weekend Underdog Pick Ems

Top Plays for Wild Card Weekend Underdog Pick Ems

11:27am EST 1/11/23

Justin Jefferson heads a LOADED slate of player prop picks for the Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs.

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentA $200K Top Prize Is Up For Grabs On Underdog Fantasy

A $200K Top Prize Is Up For Grabs On Underdog Fantasy

10:18am EST 1/11/23

10 round drafts. 5-man starting rosters. And a whole lotta' cash. Let's talk playoff fantasy on Underdog.

Read More »
Podcast: FFPC Playoff Challenge Strategy

Podcast: FFPC Playoff Challenge Strategy

3:31pm EST 1/10/23

With $500K on the line and just 1 player per team, we're looking at every angle heading into the NFL playoffs to help you set the optimal fantasy football lineup.

Read More »

Dominate your Fantasy League with

the Ultimate Tool Stack

In the heat of a draft, you want as much intel as possible. The key is integrating that into one simple, powerful tool.

Dominate your Fantasy League with

the Ultimate Tool Stack

In the heat of a draft, you want as much intel as possible. The key is integrating that into one simple, powerful tool.
3D Projections

3D Projections

3D Projections: True Dimension of Every Player’s Potential

Based on our award-winning projections, an axis of data points give insights far deeper than a ranking

View Our Accuracy Awards View Our Accuracy Awards »

Advice Draft Strategy

Advice That’s Actionable on Draft Day

Round-by-Round Draft Strategy Guides, Sleepers, Undervalued Players, Busts and Handcuffs

3D Projections

Draft War Room

Draft War Room: Intel Turned Into Killer Picks

Command your entire draft with a dynamic tool synced to your league. Updating and adapting in real time.

3D Projections

Keep Dominating Throughout The Season

Quickly find the free-agent gems, pull the trigger on the perfect trade & make the right start/sit decisions.

Keep Dominating
Draft Sharks

$6/month thereafter, billed semi-annually, one-click cancel anytime.

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play